DICT targets 500K Filipino digital workers outside NCR by 2022

By EJ Roque

December 12, 2018, 8:52 am

MANILA – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) targets to train some 500,000 unemployed Filipino workers from the provinces to make them globally-competitive digital workers by 2022.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) at the 51Talk press conference in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, DICT Industry Development Bureau head Yvette Cabrera said there is a need to develop the capacities of unemployed workers in the digital fields of software development, health, game animation, and contact centers.

“We will train them and help them have a job before graduation or even after graduation,” she said.

Cabrera said they are closely working with local government units (LGUs) outside Metro Manila for the free training of unemployed people to make them full-time, globally-competitive digital workers.

“Kasi Metro Manila marami na tayong investors especially in the IT industry, so we want to promote other cities in the rural areas in other provinces to also be a business destination,” Cabrera said.

There are about 320,000 digital workers in provinces outside Metro Manila at present, Cabrera said.

In the same event, Chinese-based company 51Talk shared some success stories of their partnership with the Philippine government as they plan to hire more Filipino teachers to teach English courses online.

In an interview with reporters, 51Talk founder and CEO Jack Huang said they have signed a memorandum of agreement with DICT to ensure stable internet connectivity in the country.

“We hope that internet connectivity in the Philippines can be further improved in the future,” Huang said.

Cabrera said the DICT is responding to the demands of the business sector with their establishment of free Wi-Fi centers around the country and the entry of a third telco player.

Filipino 51Talk teacher Mike Gerald Alfiscar from Bacolod City said one of the advantages of working online is a better work-life balance.

“Wala kang mami-miss out na event sa buhay ng mga minamahal mo kasi ikaw ang pumipili ng schedule mo (You won’t miss out significant events of your loved ones because you get to choose your schedule.),” Alfiscar said in an interview with PNA.

Huang said they prefer hiring Filipino teachers due to their neutral English accent. He also noted the cultural compatibility of Filipinos and Chinese and the same timezone of Philippines and China as advantages in hiring Filipino teachers.

Huang said his company plans to hire 100,000 Filipino teachers in the next five years. (PNA)